PHNOM PENH, May 19 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese investment has greatly contributed to socio-economic development and poverty reduction in Cambodia, officials said here on Friday.
Chea Vuthy, deputy secretary-general of the Council for the Development of Cambodia, said the Chinese investment accounted for 90.5 percent of the foreign direct investment (FDI) to Cambodia in 2022, and 73.5 percent in the first four months this year.
"China has always been the largest source of FDI to Cambodia," he told a Cambodia-China business forum in Phnom Penh.
"FDI, especially from China, has played an important role in developing the national economy and improving the livelihoods of the Cambodian people," he added.
Vuthy said investment from China has injected new capital to Cambodia, brought about new technologies, created jobs, increased production and export, and helped boost the kingdom's integration into regional and global value chains.
"The inflow of FDI from China has showed strong confidence of Chinese investors in Cambodia," he said. "The close relationship between the two governments is a key factor in attracting Chinese investors to Cambodia."
Cambodian Ministry of Commerce Secretary of State Chhuon Dara said over 80 percent of the foreign investors in the Southeast Asian country were from China.
"The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement, and the Cambodia-China Free Trade Agreement, among others have encouraged more Chinese investors to Cambodia," he said at the forum.
"The Chinese investment here has provided mutual benefit and win-win results for all," he added.
Senior economist Ky Sereyvath, director-general of the Institute of China Studies at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said the Chinese investment has played a crucial role in supporting Cambodia's socioeconomic development and poverty reduction, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs for locals.
"Under the BRI, a lot of China-funded mega-projects such as roads, bridges, ports, airports, hydropower plants, economic zones, national stadium and expressway have existed in Cambodia," he told Xinhua. "These projects have provided and will continue to provide great benefits to Cambodia and its people."
Neak Chandarith, director of the Cambodia 21st Century Maritime Silk Road Research Center, said Chinese-funded enterprises were pivotal in boosting Cambodia's economic recovery in the post-COVID-19 pandemic era.
"They are key contributors to helping Cambodia achieve its ambitious goal of becoming an upper middle-income country by 2030 and a high-income country in 2050," he told Xinhua. ■